HP Moves in for Default Judgment Vs. Chinese Online ‘OEM’ Box Copycats. HP, one of the leading manufacturers of ink and toner cartridges, has filed a lawsuit against several online third-party cartridge sellers, alleging that they infringed its trade dress rights. Trade dress is a form of intellectual property that protects the distinctive appearance of a product or its packaging, such as shape, color, design, or label. HP claims that the defendants sold lookalike cartridges that mimicked HP’s trade dress, creating confusion among consumers and harming HP’s reputation.
The lawsuit was filed in 2023 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. HP named 15 defendants, most of whom are based in China, Hong Kong, or Singapore. HP accused them of violating the Lanham Act, the federal law that governs trademarks and trade dress, as well as California state laws. HP sought damages, injunctive relief, and attorney fees.
Some of the defendants did not respond to the lawsuit, so HP moved for a default judgment against them in September 2023. A default judgment is a ruling in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant fails to appear or defend themselves in court. HP is likely to settle with some of the remaining defendants, as it has done in previous trade dress lawsuits. A settlement is an agreement between the parties to end the dispute without a trial. The terms of the settlement are usually confidential, but they may include monetary compensation, injunctions, or changes in the defendants’ business practices.
HP’s lawsuit is part of its ongoing efforts to protect its intellectual property rights and to ensure the quality and safety of its products. HP warns consumers to be wary of counterfeit or lookalike cartridges that may not perform as well as genuine HP cartridges or may damage their printers. HP advises consumers to buy only from authorized HP resellers or directly from HP.